We’ve been thinking about the Beacon system and the conflicts that can arise when plotting near others. Plotting close to another player can cause tension. Often this is resolved by players directly. But sometimes it falls onto the devs to review reports against the Code of Conduct. In general simply building near someone isn’t against the code - but it doesn’t mean other players like it.
Ideally we’d like to find a system that feels fair to all players, is determined automatically in game (rather than relying on the Code of Conduct), and gives everyone freedom and security at the same time. The last part might be impossible but it doesn’t mean we can’t try to improve the current system.
The purpose of this post is to get player comments, feedback and ideas about a possible improvement.
Beacon Protection Perimeters:
One relatively simple option that has been suggested in the past and I’ve since been exploring is to implement an automatic protection of the plots around a beacon’s perimeter based on prestige.
- As a beacon’s prestige increases the depth of the protected perimeter automatically increases.
- Buffer zones would be small: 1, 2, or 3 plots.
- Alternatively all beacons would have a fixed protection zone - independent of their prestige.
- If another player attempts to plot within a protected perimeter than it will fail and report who the plots are protected for.
- This would mean that there would become 4 different types of plot cells:
- Plotted - plots already claimed within a beacon.
- Reserved - unclaimed plots vertically above or below a beacon.
- Protected - unclaimed plots within the protected perimeter of the beacon.
- Wild - unclaimed plots.
This would mean that everyone will know that as they expand their beacon and prestige there will always be a zone around their beacon that can’t be claimed by others. They would still need to place plots in the protected perimeter if they wanted to build within it.
If there are 2 beacons close to each other then:
- Instead of plotting up to each other’s beacons, they would only be able to plot up to each other’s protection perimeters.
- Beacon protected perimeters can overlap with others. When this happens neither beacon owner would be able to claim plot in the overlapped region without permission.
- If a protection perimeter expands into another players beacon, they would still be able to expand above or below their current plots. The protection is only given to wild plots.
- It doesn’t matter who’s protection was there first. The system doesn’t care about that. It only looks at the current plot and asks if there is a beacon within range with sufficient prestige to have a protection claim over it.
We would also add the following complementary features:
Plotting permission: We will add a new beacon permission which allows a friend to plot in your protected perimeter. If your protection perimeter overlaps with another player they would need to give you permission to plot within this doubly protected region. If you were to remove the permission they would no longer be able to claim new plots, but they wouldn’t lose the plots they already have. (And they’d still be able to claim vertically.)
Disable the perimeter: For player who want to build Settlements and roads and infrastructure they will be able to disable the protection perimeter on their beacon. This would be equivalent to giving all players permission to plot in their perimeter.
I think in general this is a relatively simple solution. It will increase restrictions on placing plots. But it will give players the protection of a buffer between each other with the options of removing it. It will likely make creating Settlements more complicated and harder.
If you have better or alternative ideas then please let us know below.
Q. Do you think that we should implement a beacon protection perimeter system:
We will still need the on the Code of Conduct when players believe others are deliberately restricting their play with the only intention of malice.
We don’t plan to allow plotting above or below another player’s beacon.
This system doesn’t attempt to deal with forced Settlement merging. Retaining a Settlement’s identity will be resolved by features coming in the Guild system.
Protected plots are still editable, mineable, and exposed to regen.